In Europe, in the last couple of years, there have been significant changes in the parliaments and governments of several countries. In several countries, parties representing right-wing and conservative ideologies have come to power.
One of the countries where a significant change in the direction of the political course took place in recent years is Italy. A year ago, Giorgia Meloni became the first Italian woman prime minister. She has long advocated a very strict migration policy and even came up with the idea of creating a Mediterranean blockade to stop migrant boats from Africa.
In Italy, which has been experiencing both economic problems and the migrant crisis for years, her ideas gained a lot of public support.
On the opposite side of Europe – Finland – significant changes in the political course have also taken place. The “National Coalition Party” of Prime Minister Peteri Orpo, who came to power, marks new, right-wing political winds in Finnish politics. Finland’s new government represents the most right-wing politics in the country’s history.
Slovakia has also recently experienced a change of political course. Robert Fico, who came to power, represents a populist political force. Although the party considers itself left-oriented, its actions are more in line with conservative ideas. Fico opposes aid to Ukraine and is openly pro-Russian in his rhetoric. Also, his thoughts on migration issues are in line with neighboring Hungary.
The public does not trust the government
Finally, changes are expected in the Netherlands, where the far-right “Freedom Party” led by Geert Wilders has won an unexpected victory in the parliamentary elections. The program of political power envisages the banning of the Koran and veils, the closing of mosques and Islamic schools. The party also advocates the introduction of much stricter migration rules. Wilders has been entrusted with forming the new Dutch government, but it could be a very long process.
“It was a rather surprising victory. The polls did not predict such results for him. And in my opinion, it shows, first of all, that there is a distrust of the government in the society,” says Teona Lavrelashvili, an analyst at the “European Policy Center” think tank.
“That’s why people want a more responsible government. They want to hear clear answers to the questions they are interested in. And during the primaries, European Union issues were not in the foreground.
Almost every party cited the cost of living and the lack of housing as the main problems. And this is also in a sense a public signal to politicians that much more concern is caused by local and household problems and not so much global problems.”
Are they global problems for the entire European Union, or individual for each country and unrelated?
Lavrelashvili believes that they are somehow related. “This is clearly visible in the issues of living conditions, as well as in migration. Of course, there are also various local problems, but the common problems are still related to social issues.”
The results of the EP elections will be of great importance
However, there are countries that are experiencing a different political course change. For example, right-wing political forces were in power for a long time in Poland, which were defeated by centrist and European-oriented political forces in the recent parliamentary elections.
How could changes in the parliaments of different countries affect the overall political course of the European Union?
“Yes, it will definitely affect and is already affecting the politics of the European Union. And this is where the significance of the upcoming European Parliament elections, which will take place next year, appears.
These will be very important elections for the European Union, which in turn will determine the European Commission’s activities. Because the European Parliament will further elect a new leadership, a new leader,” says Lavrelashvili.
The upcoming European Parliament elections in June and the current changes in the domestic policies of several countries raise the question of how significant the changes in the political course of the European Union will be after them.